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Microprocessor Design

by

James Adrian


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Introduction


      Among the self taught, microprocessor design and computer design have not been as popular as radio electronics and programming. I hope this changes. Early chapters describe the principles and methods most needed to implement stored programs and most characteristic of early microprocessors. Variations are discussed later. Some programming and electronics experience could prove helpful. A passion for acquiring a new skill is far more important.


Chapters

Chapter  1 - Logic Gates

Chapter  2 - Sequences

Chapter  3 - The ALU

Chapter  4 - Registers

Chapter  5 - Latches

Chapter  6 - Timing

Chapter  7 - Instructions

Chapter  8 - The PSR

Chapter  9 - The Stack

Chapter 10 - Reset

Chapter 11 - The Barrel Shifter

Chapter 12 - VLIW

Chapter 13 - Addition

Chapter 14 - Subtraction


Epilogue

      These chapters have not provided information about electronics or optics or any other branch of physics which might be used to implement logic gates. The behavior of logic gates has been described in terms of truth tables. While their underlying technology may change frequently, the skill of composing useful and economically important digital devices from logic gates will be very enduring. The increased popularity of this skill might even motivate the study of the physical means of producing logic gates; but it might provide a greater and more immediate benefit to general prosperity.

      It seems possible that more programmers will acquire this skill and apply their inventiveness to the design of microprocessors and other digital devices. Logic designers might submit their designs to organization like Mosis for prototyping. Since a long study of underlying technologies is not needed, other technologists, logicians, and gazetteers might contribute their ideas to this area.

      Given the resurgence of entrepreneurship, perhaps one day the design of microprocessors will not be the exclusive province of so few companies or of employees obliged to nondisclosure agreements.



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